If you’re looking to advance your nursing career, consider becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), which offers a more specialized path within the healthcare field. FNPs, also known as family nurse practitioners, have specialized educational and clinical training in family practice. They provide care to patients of all ages, giving diagnoses, offering health advice and discussing topics such as disease prevention. A few examples of regular FNP duties could include:
- Providing immunizations
- Prescribing medications and therapies
- Providing comprehensive physical exams
- Ordering diagnostic tests
- Performing procedures
Due to the aging baby boomer population, the job outlook for FNPs is expected to increase 26%1 by 2028, creating an estimated 53,300 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, the median annual wage of a nurse practitioner was $107,0302 in May 2018, with the highest 10% earning over $182,750.
How to Become an FNP
It’s common to work as a registered nurse (RN) for a couple of years before becoming an FNP to gain experience. After working as an RN, you can earn a master of science in nursing from an accredited college or university. These programs typically include both classroom work and clinical experience and are specifically built for students who aspire to become an FNP. Herzing University offers several MSN pathways, one of which allows you to complete your Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner, in as little as 20 months.
FNPs have a variety of workplace options, depending on the age range of patients they treat and whether they wish to work in public or private settings. Potential workplaces could include:
1. Private Practice
Only available in certain states, private practice is ideal if you want to work with a limited number of patients and build familiarity with them and their treatment plans. Depending on the state, FNPs can act as the primary caregiver and prescribe medications.
2. Hospice Facility
Hospice care is for terminally ill patients. Along with general patient care, you will be responsible for keeping your patient’s families up-to-date on the next steps.
3. School Clinic
FNPs that work in a primary school or university are responsible for providing care to any students that feel ill or require other medical assistance. Primary schools typically offer only basic medical care and first aid, while college health centers will offer more specialized treatments including pharmaceutical facilities, pregnancy tests and even counseling services.
4. Home Health Center
In this setting, FNPs work directly in the home of a patient, which is an alternative to care in a rehab center. Nurses focus on assisting the patient in everyday tasks as well as other specialized treatments.
5. Community Health Center
Often found in lower-income neighborhoods, FNPs will treat patients who might face barriers to care, such as high costs, insurance problems or language barriers.
6. Office of a Physician
In this fast-paced work setting, FNPs assist a physician with patient care. In select states, FNPs can see patients without physician oversight.
7. Outpatient Care Facility
Nurse practitioners help surgeons to prepare patients for tests or surgical procedures as well as providing them with the proper rehabilitation instructions.
Ready to start your career as an FNP? Learn more about Herzing University’s FNP program options.